The protein CPEB4, which coordinates the expression of hundreds of genes required for neuronal activity, is altered in the brains of individuals with autism
Published in Nature, the study indicates that a defect in CPEB4 could be the link between environmental factors that alter brain development and the genes that determine susceptibility to autism
Most individuals with autism spectrum disorder cannot be distinguished by physical traits or by severe neurological symptoms. In fact, these cases can be identified only on the basis of certain behaviour, namely their obsessive focus on certain activities, and difficulties with social communications and interactions. Recent years have brought about important breakthroughs in autism research through the genetic analysis of thousands of these individuals. Researchers have been able to find correlations between defects in the expression and/or function of about 200 genes and susceptibility to autism. However, the bases underlying the dysregulation of these genes in subjects with autism were unknown.
An international team headed by José Lucas, researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), and by Raúl Méndez, researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), has discovered that CPEB4, a molecule that regulates protein synthesis, is impaired in most cases of autism. The scientists observed that the defects in CPEB4 lead to the dysregulation in the expression of most of these 200 genes. The study has been published in the journal Nature.
“Upon studying the changes in protein expression in a mouse model with altered CPEB4 activity, we were surprised to observe that the changes included most of the genes that predispose individuals to autism spectrum, disorder,” says José Lucas, the coordinator of the study.
Raúl Méndez, ICREA researcher and head of the Translational Control of Cell Cycle and Differentiation Labat IRB Barcelona and co-leader of the study, explains that, “this study is an example of how the expression of hundreds of genes must be perfectly coordinated to ensure the correct function of organs and the cells that make up these organs. In this case the brain and neurons”.
Environmental factors that alter brain development, such as infections during pregnancy, can also contribute to the onset of autism. “Since CPEB4 is known to regulate numerous genes during embryonic development, this protein emerges as a possible link between environmental factors that alter brain development and the genes that predispose to autism,” explains Alberto Parras, first author of the study and research at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (joint centre between CSIC and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).
“Understanding the biological bases of autism may facilitate the design of future experimental treatments and diagnosis tools for this condition. Although futher research is required, CPEB4 emerges as a potential new therapeutic target,” conclude the researchers.
The Latest on: Autism
via Google News
The Latest on: Autism
- Surfing program provides therapy for kids with autismon August 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — An international event is giving local kids with autism the chance to surf. Surfers Healing travels the world to provide a therapeutic experience for autistic children who ...
- Hundreds of Kids with Autism Ride Waves in Virginia Beach for Therapyon August 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Hundreds of kids with autism are riding some waves at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The organization Surfers Healing is hosting a two-day surf camp for the children.
- Read Amy Schumer's Heartwarming Response When Asked How She'd 'Cope' If Her Son Had Autismon August 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm
Amy Schumer gave a thoughtful response when asked by an Instagram follower about what she would do if her son had autism. The 38-year-old comedian recently shared an adorable photo of herself holding ...
- Amy Schumer Hits Back at Troll Asking How She'll 'Cope' If Son Has Autismon August 16, 2019 at 12:23 pm
Clapping back! Amy Schumer responded to an Instagram troll who wondered how the actress will “cope” if her 3-month-old son, Gene, has autism like his father, Chris Fischer. It all started when the ...
- Amy Schumer Just Clapped Back At Autism Comments Regarding Her Husband And Sonon August 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Amy Schumer shared a sweet photo with her baby boy Gene and asked followers if they'd like to see a docu-series on her pregnancy and birth. One commenter suggested she film a documentary about how she ...
- Amy Schumer Responds to Commenter Asking How She'd 'Cope' If Son Had Autism: It's Not 'Negative'on August 16, 2019 at 11:47 am
Amy Schumer is making her feelings about autism crystal clear. The actress, 38, welcomed her first child, son Gene Attell, with husband Chris Fischer on May 5. And in her Netflix special Growing ...
- TSA officers bar Florida teen with autism from flying; airport director apologizeson August 16, 2019 at 11:08 am
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A few weeks ago Cullen Chason's summer vacation to Reno, Nevada, was unexpectedly upended. The 18-year-old, who has severe autism and suffers from an anxiety disorder, was singled ...
- New study shows how autism can be measured through a non-verbal markeron August 15, 2019 at 10:01 am
Researchers have identified a non-verbal, neural marker of autism. This marker shows that individuals with autism are slower to dampen neural activity in response to visual signals in the brain. This ...
- Stop using 'Miracle' solution as a cure for autism or cancer, FDA sayson August 15, 2019 at 6:44 am
People should stop using the "Miracle" or "Master" mineral solution products sold online as cures for autism, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, flu, acne and a host of other illnesses and diseases, the US Food ...
via Bing News